These last weeks isolated at home have made me appreciate how lucky we are to live on this hillside. We read about the terrible pandemic and the loss of lives, shop for groceries only every ten days or so, miss seeing our friends, and feel sad that favorite restaurants and shops are closed and struggling to survive. But for us, with studios and home in one spot, life goes on in an almost normal fashion.
I have put off writing here because of ennui and lack of focus. I found it hard to accomplish much besides making meals, gardening and exercising. My creative endeavors stall out after feeble attempts to carry on.
But I have been cooking and here are some of the dishes we have enjoyed. Earlier this year I had revived a sourdough starter stored in the freezer. In late March, when it was impossible to find yeast, I used it to make bread. As a frugal cook, I hated having to discard part of the starter each time I fed it, so was excited to find recipes online for using this to make English muffins, pancakes, and crackers.
King Arthur flour company has been a particularly useful site for baking recipes. With some of my hoarded yeast I made ‘Beautiful Burger Buns’ to have with buffalo burgers.
A new pita bread recipe from Smitten Kitchen promised to produce big balloons but mine didn’t puff. They tasted great but were flat breads not pockets. Perhaps I need to make an altitude adjustment and use more water in the dough.
Aside from baking, I have made falafel, some to eat with my flat pita, the rest to freeze for another meal.
We have enjoyed old favorites such as kale salad with apples (recipe in First Post).
I have been scanning my many cookbooks for inspiration. Deborah Madison’s volumes are a treasure. I made two of her delicious recipes ─ one for masa crepes filled with chard and chiles ─ from Vegetarian Suppers ─
For the crepe batter:
Combine and whizz in the blender 3 eggs, 1 1/2 cups milk, 1/2 cup masa harina, 1/2 cup unbleached flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 3 tablespoons safflower oil or melted butter.
The filling combines sauteed onions, jalapeños, oregano, cilantro, garlic and chard. I added some thick yogurt and grated cheese.
The crepes are filled, folded into quarters, then fried in a little butter.
Another Madison recipe ─ scrambled eggs with corn, tortillas and salsa ─ from The Savory Way.
In a tablespoon of butter, saute a couple green onions – chopped, a handful of cilantro – chopped, and a cup of corn, fresh off the cob or thawed from frozen. When tender, pour over four beaten eggs and scramble to your likeness. Have ready two plates with two warm corn tortillas. Ladle over the eggs and top with grated jack or cheddar and your favorite salsa.